- The Land of Fire
Here, we would like to talk about a miraculous country of Azerbaijan with its abandoned natural resources, centuries-old culture, history and people, whose lifestyle presents a unique and harmonious combination of the traditions and ceremonies of different cultures and civilizations.
Azerbaijan is a geographical name. On the one hand this name is linked with the population, which lived in this region for thousand of years before our era, and who were mostly fire-worshippers. Local population considered that fire was their God and so they worshipped the fire. "Azer" means fire. The Turkic name "Azer" was used for this territory for a long time. The word "Azer" consists of two parts - "az" and "er". In Turkic languages, "az" means a good intention and a fate of success. Thus, the word "Azer" means "a brave man", "a brave boy", "the fire keeper".
Azerbaijan is one of the most ancient
sites of humankind. The humankind
was present here at every stage of their historical development.
There were living settlements in
Azerbaijan even at the earliest
stages of humankind. Azerbaijan made its own contribution into the
establishment of the current
culture and civilization, progress
The time kept a range of ancient
archeological and architectural
monuments for us. The ancient headstones,
manuscripts and models of carpets, preserved to the present
from the ancient ages, can provide
much information to those who can
and want to read them. If you wish to understand Azerbaijan
and to know everything about it,
you need to look at this country
and its people with a friend's eyes.
Azerbaijan is a country of ancient
culture. The Oguz tribes which
moved here and stayed for ages,
have found a deeply rooted culture
and in their turn enriched it with
Turkic national traditions. The
talented and creative powers of
our nation are personified in such
epic monuments as "Kitabi-Dede
Gorgud", "Oguzname" "Keroglu" and many others.
This fertile, generous and friendly
land was the home of many thinkers,
philosophers, scientists, poets,
architects, musicians and artists. A legend tells that Zardusht
was born in this land. Azerbaijan
also enriched the humankind with
such geniuses as Nizami Ganjevi,
Hagani Shirvani, Bahmanyar, Nasimi,
Fizuli, Nasreddin Tusi, Shah Ismail
Xatai, Mullah Paneh Vagif, A. Bakikhanov,
M.F. Axudov, M.A. Sabir, J.Mamedguluzade,
Huseyn Javid, J.Jabarli, Samed Vurgun,
Vahid, Rasul Rza.
The country of Azerbaijan was immortalized
by such talented painters as Sattar
Bahlulzade, Tahir Salahov, Togrul Narimanbeyov, Mikayil Abdullayev
and many others.
Our national music - mugam - inspired
such outstanding composers as Uzeyir
Hajibeyov, Muslim Magomayev, Gara Garayev, Fikret Amirov, Niyazi,
Arif Melikov and others to
create their masterpieces, which
are still known today throughout the world. It also gave the inspiration
to such wonderful vocalists
as Bulbul and Rashid Behbudov.
It seems that the famous Azerbaijan
carpets are the incarnation of
all colors of nature and of all
signs of history. Today, these carpets magically pass the borders
and space and travel from Azerbaijan
to foreign countries far away.
The models of the decorative art
made by Azerbaijan craftsmen from
the metal, ceramic, silk and woods
are kept in many museums of the world.
The science and the enlightenment
in Azerbaijan have a centuries-old
history. The Baku
State University was founded in
1919; the institutes of the Academy of Sciences of
Azerbaijan play an exceptional
role in scientific, educational
and cultural development of Azerbaijan.
Local scientists are currently studying such important issues
as the depths of the Caspian Sea,
space exploration and the secrets
of human brain.
The existing educational system
of Azerbaijan is made up of dozens
of higher educational institutions
and technical schools, thousands of high schools, colleges and
One of the most important problems
which is currently solved by local
scientists is environmental protection of the Caspian Sea and different
regions of Azerbaijan. Such natural
reserves as Gizilagach, Shirvan,
Zagatala, Aggol, Girkan and others, were established due to the
efforts of Azerbaijani scientists.
Through the decades, the local
industry was successfully represented
by oil producing, petrochemical
and oil processing enterprises.
The agricultural industry is famous
for cotton-growing, viticulture,
vegetable-growing and cattle-breeding.
If one compares the economy of
Azerbaijan with a living body,
it becomes evident that oil flows in the veins of Azerbaijan. The
oil and gas resources of Azerbaijan
have made this place famous in
every part of the world from the ancient times.
Azerbaijan has always been famous
for its sources of eternal fires
- the atashgehs. There is a place called Yanardag (blazing mountain)
in Absheron and thermal springs
in some parts of Nakhichivan, Kelbejar,
Masali, Lenkoran, Babadag.
In Surakhani, there is an eternal
fire place. From the ancient times
the fire worshippers from remote
places and even the Indian priests were coming to Absheron in search
of fire and finding it here. They
built their main temples here in
Surakhani and Ateshgah.
The word Azerbaijan brings its
main wealth - oil - before the
eyes. Oil is not only the wealth,
but the fame as well. People were coming to Azerbaijan from distant
places for this specific taste
and colored puddle under the ground.
Throughout the centuries, camelcades
carried waterskins of oil in
both eastern and western directions.
The Azerbaijani oil is not used
exclusively for the electricity production, but also as a valuable
medicine for a variety of diseases.
There has been an increasing demand
for oil throughout the centuries.
From the beginning of the 20th
century, the continuous industrial
development around the world, caused an unprecedented growth of
the demand for oil. It was at
this time oil turned from an everyday
mean into an industrial product. Oil becomes one of the most important assets in 20th century - the century of science and technologies. Oil-producing countries have developed special oil policies and oil strategies in this connection.
Azerbaijan is currently involved into the implementation of huge energy projects. Oil and gas projects are successfully implemented in the Azeri Caspian sector. Azerbaijan is a country, which plays an extremely important role in the Caspian and Caucasian regions, particularly in the development of transport infrastructure in the Caucasus and the implementation of energy projects. It was the region's first country to explore the huge energy potential, to form an absolutely new economic model in the regional development, and to expand political and economic relations between Europe and Asia.
There are also major issues and challenges still facing the country and the region, key here is the military aggression against Azerbaijan by neighboring Armenia (Armenia occupied the territory of Nagorny Karabakh and 7 other provinces of Azerbaijan. One million out of total population of eight million are internally displaced people or refugees), our country mobilized its potential and had great successes in building democracy. Azerbaijan manages to successfully overcome the difficulties and continues making important and firm steps towards t he establishment of a democratic and lawful country with civil society.
Azerbaijan has membership in the
United Nations (UN), Organization
of Security and Cooperation in
Europe (OSCE), Council of Europe
(CE), Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), GUUAM, Organization
of Islamic Conference, Black Sea
Economic Collaboration (BSEC),
Organization of Economic Cooperation
(OEC). Azerbaijan also actively
cooperates with the European Union,
NATO, International Monetary Fond,
European Bank for Reconstruction
and Development, Islamic Development
Bank and other organizations. It
accedes to the new joint documents
and international agreements.
More at www.azerbaijan.az